I'm starting to do practice tests for specific sections, and I am having trouble getting consistent scores. I did three math sections and got a 22, 26, then 24 . When I look at the problems, the ones I'm getting wrong aren't of a similar type - it seems random.

On English I can take one practice test and get a 33 while other times I'll get a 28 (and they feel the same in difficulty). My score changes by 5-6 points in each section every time I take a test and I can't figure out why. Does anyone else have this problem and how can I fix this? The times I get a lower score I'll feel as if I did just as well as when I got a higher score.

Other than practice, how could I become more consistent while test taking?

asked 07 Apr '16, 09:44

Chris_PrepScholar's gravatar image

Chris_PrepSc...
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edited 07 Apr '16, 09:50


My top advice to you is to make sure you're taking official ACT practice tests (or doing sections from official ACT practice tests). As our article on the best sources for ACT English practice states, using inaccurate practice materials is not only a waste of time (because you're not being tested in the same way you'll be tested on the ACT), but may give you inaccurate results. It's also important to make sure you're practicing under realistic conditions - even if you're just doing one section at a time, be sure to time yourself and only have the materials present you would on the actual test.

In addition, while a drop of 5 or more points is significant an usually an indicator of a larger issue, your score can naturally ebb and flow as much as 3 composite points between retakes. So while your English score variation of 28-33 is too large to be explained by chance, your Math score hovering around the 24 range is not necessarily a sign of inconsistency.

Finally, when reviewing your mistakes, make sure you really dig into why you're making each one. Even if there doesn't seem to be a pattern behind the types of questions you're getting wrong, that doesn't mean you should just assume "oh, it's random" and move on. For more advice on the best way to review your mistakes, I encourage you to read this article (if you haven't already).

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answered 07 Apr '16, 12:02

Laura_PrepScholar's gravatar image

Laura_PrepSc...
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